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Email trail between Iqbal Survé and ex-PIC head Dan Matjila probed at PIC inquiry

Apr 03 2019 10:42
Jan Cronje, Fin24
Chairperson of media group Independent Media and t

Chairperson of media group Independent Media and the head of Sekunjalo, Iqbal Surve gives evidence during the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation on April 02, 2019. (Photo by Gallo Images/Phill Magakoe)

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An email correspondence trail between Iqbal Survé, the head of the Sekunjalo Group, and axed head of the Public Investment Corporation Dan Matjila came under scrutiny on the second day of Survé's testimony before the PIC inquiry.

In contrast to Monday, on Tuesday Survé kept his answers short. 

Evidence leader Advocate Jannie Lubbe started by asking Survé about his involvement in the listing of AYO Technology Solutions on the JSE and the attempted listing of another technology company, Sagarmatha. 

Both companies had approached the PIC for billions in funding, but in the end, only AYO received funds. 

Survé is not on the boards of Sagarmatha or AYO, although he is the head of Sekunjalo, which has a stake in both companies. 

When prompted by Lubbe, Survé denied that the deals were in fact negotiated between him and Matjila. 

Lubbe showed the commission copies or two emails that contained correspondence between Matjila and Survé about the valuation of Sagarmatha prior to its listing. 

The emails, which were shared with the commission, contained valuation estimates of Sagarmatha carried out by US-firm Redwood Valuation Partners.

Sagarmatha failed to list on the JSE in April 2018. It had hoped to secure R3bn in funding from the PIC out of a total investment of R4.5bn. 

"It appears it was not the due diligence team of the PIC requesting this valuation report by an independent, it was Matjila" said Lubbe. "He dealt directly with you". 

Lubbe asked why, if he was not involved in the Sagarmatha deal, he corresponded with Matjila.

In response, Survé said he already mentioned that he had been called in to explain the calculation of multi-sided companies to the PIC. 

"There is no question. I am the one person that understands the valuation of multi-sided companies," he told the commission. "I also understand the entities globally that would value these entities and for that reason, I was involved in the Sagarmatha component if it."

On Monday, Survé said the fact that the PIC did not invest in Sagarmatha was a "missed opportunity". "For the first time a (technology) unicorn would emerge from the African continent."

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